Murals (2008) by PHANTAST - Graffiti - Cultural Music & Art Association inc. - 98 Milne St. Benleigh

NicholasSt. Nicholas ( Santa) used to help troubled adolescents.

Signs of Depression in an Adolescent.

Depression in adolescents can be  challenging to diagnosed. For example, excessive sleeping and moodiness are typical symptoms of depression, yet these are also typical of the developing adolescent. However, continued irritability or angry mood, instead of outward sadness, is one sign in depressed adolescents. In addition, depressed adolescents frequently complain about physical ailments such as stomach aches and headaches. Likewise, the depressed adolescent will withdraw from some people but not all. Such adolescents may also begin to spend time with a completely different social group and leave all their friends. In addition, the depressed adolescents are often very sensitive to criticism because of their poor self esteem. It is important to note that these represent a change in the adolescent's normal behavior. A withdrawal from people and a tendency not to find life as pleasurable are also defining features of depression. Untreated depression can lead to problems with academic grades, running away, refusing to attend school, reckless behaviour, drug use and self injury to name a few. It is also important to know that up to 80% of depressed adolescents will also be diagnosed with another mental condition. An anxiety disorder such as Social Phobia is often present in the young person.

How to Help the Adolescent.

 If you suspect an adolescent of being depressed, there are a few things you can do. Talk gently to the adolescent and let them know you care and will help in any way. Be gentle, but persistent - keep trying to talk to them even if they don't want to talk to you at first. Validate their feelings and their reasons (no matter how trivial they may seem). Make sure you listen and DO NOT lecture them. Encourage them to seek help. If your adolescent denies being depressed but your "gut" instinct says something is wrong, then trust this feeling and seek the advice of your family doctor or a psychologist. Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) have been identified as evidence-based interventions for treating depression. (Depression in  Adolescents, Philip Gosschalk, Clinical & Educational Psychologist, Vol 3, Issue 4, Term 4,2012).

Archived Medical

SFD Log In